The River Fund Maine recognizes that youth need more opportunities to see themselves as change-agents and to build community with others who are ready to step into the challenge of leadership in this complex world. TRFM workshops offer students a life-changing experience in creative problem-solving using the acclaimed Design Thinking methodology. Developed by Stanford University, Design Thinking takes a real-life problem and challenges teams of students to develop a solution. During an immersive weekend led by trained facilitators, youth will be challenged to:

  1. Develop interviewing skills when they must talk to people who actually experience the problem in their daily life.  Understand how to really listen to other people with empathy.

  2. Learn how to identify what the “real” problem is.  Differentiate between the root cause of an issue and the surrounding contributing factors.

  3.  Work as a team to brainstorm solutions.  Understand effective communication techniques when working with others to arrive at a consensus.

  4. Create a workable solution.  Understand how an iterative approach encourages thoughtful experimentation.  Experience how an open mind to the thoughts and ideas of others can improve a result.  Develop skills in how to forge agreement on a single solution from many points of view.

  5. Create an effective presentation of the team’s solution and present it to a panel of industry experts.



 2021 River Fund Youth Innovation Challenge: 

community design that values wellness for all

2019 River Fund Youth Innovation Challenge:  

hospitality design that improves the guest experience



(207) 418 0452

PO Box 111 • Newry, ME 04261

©2020 by The River Fund Maine

The River Fund Maine is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Contributions to The River Fund Maine are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Tax ID : 83-1986128